Do you prefer to be the only individual managing your money, to receive some guidance from a Financial Advisor, to turn your investments over to your advisor — or some combination of all three? Your answer might depend on several factors, including how much time you want to devote to managing your investments or your comfort level with financial products.

Learning the different types of investors can help you decide how you want to manage your money:

1. Independent investor

You know you’re an independent investor if you have the experience and training to evaluate your investment choices, and potential new ones, in depth. You’re likely an independent investor if you’re:

  • Confident about managing a mix of investments to achieve diversification across many variables
  • Able to deliver the earnings you need at the appropriate risk level
  • Have the time and interest to monitor and potentially adjust your investments regularly

2. Collaborative investor

Collaborative investors want to have a say in their investing choices and overall strategic decisions, but appreciate guidance from a Financial Advisor or other investment professional. These investors don't want the burden of monitoring the market regularly and reviewing their investments to account for its fluctuations. These days, many collaborative investors:

  • Prefer to hand those responsibilities over to an advisor
  • Want to work with their money online
  • Discuss their options with a professional to validate strategies and offer guidance

3. Delegating investor

Delegating investors are similar to collaborative investors because they work with a Financial Advisor to reach their financial goals. But in this partnership, the advisor doesn’t just offer guidance in setting goals, choosing appropriate investments, and making portfolio adjustments — he or she actually executes those transactions on the investor’s behalf. The Financial Advisor keeps the investor informed with quarterly and annual reports.

Take the next steps

  • For independent investors: An online brokerage account could be the right choice for your investing needs. Online brokerage accounts, including those offered by Wells Fargo, provide an organized, convenient, and affordable way for independent investors to buy and sell investments and monitor the overall performance of their portfolio.
  • For collaborative and delegating investors: Work with a Financial Advisor to create a strategy — and determine a level of advisor involvement — that suits your needs. Start a relationship with a Financial Advisor by:
    • Asking for references. You might also want to ask about their work history, credentials, and whether they’ll work with you directly.
    • Asking about fees. Some advisors get commissions from the financial products they recommend. Others receive a fee (flat or hourly) or a percentage of the assets they manage.
    • Finding a good fit. Make sure the person who handles your money is someone you like and trust.
    • Setting expectations. Talk about how closely you want your advisor to work with you. How often will you meet? What decisions do you want them to make for you?
    • Doing research online. Many investors turn to the Internet to validate the information they hear from people about investing.

When you know what type of investor you are, you’ll know what steps to take, and who to partner with, to create an investment plan that helps you reach your financial goals.

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My Financial Guide